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THE ECONOMIC MOOD IS WARMING

August 30, 2016

By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto

PdfExportHEALTH OF THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

When the federal Liberals took office, the mood of Canadians on the economy was fairly gloomy: only 32% said it was in good shape. That number has climbed to 52%. In every region, feelings about the economy have improved since May. The greatest gains are in Quebec (+18), Alberta (+13), SK/MB (+9), and in Atlantic Canada (+8).

GROWTH OR RECESSION?

The number of people who saw growth in the economy hit a bottom in January, at 28%. Today, a majority say the economy is growing (55%).

OPTIMISM OR PESSIMISM ABOUT THE FUTURE?

Asked to predict how the economy will do over the next six months, we find two optimists (29%) for every pessimist (14%). Optimism is greater than pessimism everywhere in the country, including in Alberta where 29% expect things to improve compared with 22% who feel things will worsen.

Worth noting is that many of those who feel good about the economy today tend to feel that even better times lie ahead. Few of those who feel the economy is in poor shape expect it to get worse – but neither do they expect it to improve.

THE UPSHOT

Bruce Anderson: “The last election saw incumbents trying to run on their economic record, even as people felt the economy was not in great shape.

While today’s results do not describe a buoyant economic mood, there is doubtless some relationship between the popularity of the new government and the feeling that the economy may be on the mend – what’s never entirely clear is whether this is a question of confidence strengthening – or fears abating – or real economic activity improving in ways that are noticeable on the ground for people.

Perhaps most interesting is that the mood in Alberta is improving, despite the fact that oil prices have only stabilized, rather than recovered. While there remains broad anxiety, there is at least more optimism than pessimism about what the future looks like.”

David Coletto: “Canadians are feeling increasingly good about the state of the economy and the prospects for the next six months. In every region of the country, the mood has improved, most noticeably in Quebec and Alberta. For the first time since July 2015, a majority of Canadians believe the Canadian economy is doing well and growing. The political implications are that the federal government may not feel public pressure to stimulate the economy through fiscal policy giving it room to focus on other parts of its agenda including innovation, healthcare, and Indigenous affairs.”

In case you missed it…

Grit support broadening with time (August 29, 2016)

METHODOLOGY
Our survey was conducted online with 2,010 Canadians aged 18 and over from August 22 to 25, 2016. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of 2,010 is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Abacus Data Inc.

We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail and value-added insight. Our team combines the experience of our Chairman Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading research executives for two decades, with the energy, creativity and research expertise of CEO David Coletto, Ph.D.

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